The Command Window, In Windows Vista

Many problems in Windows can best (or sometimes only) be resolved by commands entered in a command window. This is still true, on computers running Windows Vista. Under Vista, you will use the command window slightly differently from earlier versions of Windows.

A Command Window (the title may vary, widely)

  • Click the Start button.
  • Click All Programs.
  • Click Accessories.
  • Right Click on "Command Prompt".
  • Left click on "Run as Administrator".
  • Click the Allow button if it asks you for permission.
  • A new window, with varying title, will open.
  • Now type whatever you need, into the Command Prompt window, with the cursor positioned for you after the ">", and hit the Enter key after each command.
  • Remember to allow for the Path, and the location of the program that you're running, if necessary.
  • Close the window when convenient.

If you run ipconfig, for instance, as

C:\Users\YourAccount>ipconfig /all

you will get the ipconfig output there in the command window. This is good to look at briefly, but isn't very good to copy. Copying from the command window can be done, but will be hard to read.

Redirected Output
By redirecting the output, you can view it and / or copy it in a more convenient way, so it's suitable for posting online. Instead of typing

C:\Users\YourAccount>ipconfig /all


C:\Users\YourAccount>ipconfig /all >ipconfig.txt

With the latter command, instead of getting the ipconfig output there in the command window, all you'll see in the command window is another "C:\Users\YourAccount>". Then, type

C:\Users\YourAccount>notepad ipconfig.txt

and Notepad will open with the ipconfig output in a more viewable, and copyable, format.

(Note): If you get an error "Access denied" when you run a command and redirect the output, you may be attempting to redirect output into a file in a folder that you aren't permitted to write into.

Try redirecting into a folder that you are permitted to write into. If the command window opens in "C:\Users\YourAccount", just redirect there.

C:\Users\YourAccount>ipconfig /all >ipconfig.txt

C:\Users\YourAccount>notepad ipconfig.txt

Concatenated, Redirected Output
Do you need the output from two commands, run one after the other, presented in a text file? Be sure to concatenate the output from the second onto the first, don't overlay the first.

C:\Users\YourAccount>browstat status >browstat.txt
C:\Users\YourAccount>browstat listwfw pchucklan >>browstat.txt

Note the ">>" in the second command; that concatenates the output from the second command, after the output from the first command.

Finally, type

C:\Users\YourAccount>notepad browstat.txt

and Notepad will open with both browstat outputs, one following the other, in browstat.txt.

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